A mobile virtual reality headset called VR SmartView won first place in the Startup Weekend competition on Queensland's Sunshine Coast over the weekend, with the product's developers taking home $15,000 in prizes.
The team that developed the mountable head display – which includes three undergraduate students from the University of the Sunshine Coast doing business and art, journalism and marketing degrees – also has a potential multi-million dollar distribution deal in the works for their 3D printed prototype. The team anticipates the headset could sell for a retail price of $100.
By slotting in a smartphone into the headset and plugging in some earphones, users can watch 3D movies, play games, as well as engage in activities they can typically do on their smartphone on a big screen. It is compatible for with Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, and most leading smartphone brands.
Student Wilfrid Watson-Russell first pitched the concept with the support of his fellow students Ben Lowe and Danum Harris-Lusk. Stephen Maher. Owner of Wen and digital marketing company Metaweb, and industrial designer Neil Waldbaum contributed their technical expertise and skills to the project. Seventeen teams participated in the competition.
An idea sharing social media platform app called IdeallyNow – developed by 11-year old Lili Scout from Brisbane – came in at second place.
A travel app called Layovers came in at third place. This app allows users to meet fellow travellers in transit.